Cross border connections have been strengthened as Scottish and Welsh ocean energy test centres progress the development of the UK’s test centre network
Following a signed agreement in April 2020 between Marine Energy Wales and the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), based in Orkney, Scotland, EMEC has provided on the ground operational support to the Marine Energy Test Area (META) in Pembrokeshire, Wales.
META consists of eight pre-consented test sites located in and around the Milford Haven Waterway, de-risking the development of marine energy projects by providing the opportunity to test scale and full-scale devices, sub-assemblies and components in sites that are accessible yet still representative of real sea environments, offering a range of conditions and exposure.
Marine Energy Wales’ META team have drawn on EMEC’s 17 years of experience and knowledge in setting up and operating wave and tidal test sites. EMEC has supported on test centre best practice and operational procedures.
EMEC Project Officer, Saul Young, has been seconded into the META team for the last six months, and along with support from the EMEC technical management team has supported META by conducting a facility review including a gap analysis; developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the safe and efficient operation of META; as well as assisting with client management.
The collaboration has brought together key operational stakeholders, including the Port of Milford Haven and ORE Catapult, to inform the procedures which will govern the day-to-day operations at META.
META will now look to build on the significant outputs of the project and establish itself as an operational test centre, facilitating technology developers testing programmes at the META sites.
The best practice provided by EMEC over the last 6 months will be invaluable to the success of this next step and META and EMEC will continue to work closely together going forward.
Bethan Simes, META Project Manager said:
“EMEC have almost two decades of extensive operating experience that we were able to draw on in developing our operating procedures for META. The learning and best practices that have been shared from the EMEC team have been invaluable in progressing META to the operational phase, meaning we haven’t had to reinvent the wheel and enabling us to get off the ground quickly.
“We look forward to a continued collaborative relationship with EMEC, as together these projects provide key innovation hubs in our respective regions and by working together, we can help accelerate this industry to the benefit of the UK and to reach our net-zero targets.”
Elaine Buck, Technical Manager at EMEC said:
“This collaboration has been a great success, allowing EMEC’s test centre best practice to be shared and implemented effectively, to set up META for its operational phase.
“This project is a great example of the value in collaboration to strive for a globally successful marine energy industry. We wish META all the best going forward as an operational test centre and look forward to future collaborations between EMEC and META.”